Tag Archives: food

Namastasis: Recognizing the Good in All

Space Gazing

It’s time to call bullshit on those who say that we’re better off without religion.

It is, after all, the religious (not religion itself) that “contribute to the world” so much war, bloodshed, oppression, hatred and intolerance. However, the religious have also brought love, non-violence, art, ethics, freedom and social service to the world in large numbers.

Going forward, we must put an end to generalizations – statements like “religious people believe …” or “organized religion does …” and take into account all the religious institutions doing meaningful, compassionate, transformational and inclusive work in their communities.

While all religions solve for a different set of problems — sin (Christianity), pride (Islam), exile (Judaism), attachment (Buddhism) — we musn’t set out with a problem as our main concern and we musn’t assume that “problems” are the only thing we all have in common.

If interfaith relations are to succeed, we must identify and shine a light on the positive traits in religious life, because interfaith relations still have, it turns out, a long way to go.

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Feeding Children Everywhere brings “Project 3” to Ybor City

Thanks to everyone at Feeding Children Everywhere who hosted a food packing event in Ybor City during the 2012 Republican National Convention. Our shift alone packed 100,000 meals in two hours that were sent to hungry families within the United States, and the event lasted for three days.

Hoola for Happiness was on-site providing hip-gyrating warm-up activities while we waited for our shift to begin. We were honored to serve alongside all the other churches and community members that came out to support and volunteer.

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The Friend-Sourcing Project

“If you could harness the power of your friends, family and everyone you knew to make a positive change in the world around you, what would it be?”

This is what I scrawled into an empty journal and passed around at my birthday gathering last night.

I expected some good and bad, but I didn’t expect such reasoned, rational response (well, at least toward the beginning of the night). 20 entries were collected in all. At a minimum, there will be more gathered in the next few days, and ideally, this will become an ongoing method of gathering information from our friends and family. Responses ranged from pie-eating contests for homeless kids (“to take their minds off being bored”) or building a beer can pyramid to community engagement (recycling, attending city council meetings, urban farming, child mentoring, feeding the homeless, etc.) and even included a full business plan for the launch of a new baked goods concept for mothers.

I am indebted to Joanelle Lusk for inspiring this public appeal for dreams, desires, passions and projects. Without her, Integral Church would be stalled at best. There are some very real, very possible outcomes in the pages of this new journal. Having mind-mapped all the entries thus far, there seem to be commonalities and clusters around the following topics:

1. Food / Urban Farming

2. The Arts

3. City Living / Government

4. Wellness (Body, Mind, Spirit)

I will continue to collect and map these entries as more come in, seeing as my contribution to this project will be to design a system (through meet-ups, outreach and fundraisers) that will make as many of these ideas as possible into sustainable, long-term realities.

If you would like to submit an entry for the Friend-Sourcing Project, please do so in the comments section (be as simple or detailed as you’d like) and we will add yours to the list.

Thank you, everyone.